Candace, age 3
Panama City, Florida (1970)
I don't remember who owned this motorcycle in my photo.
But I do remember that if my brother thought it was cool, well - so did I!
This little tomboy was raised in a Southern Baptist home in northern Florida, and I was taught forgiveness and to love your neighbor as yourself. I was what you would call "all in" and I was very involved with the church as a young girl.
Since no one in my life ever discussed gay people and I was taught "Christian love,"
I was completely unprepared for the total rejection I received from my church and family when I came out.
Today, I still consider myself a recovering Southern Baptist.
Yes, 2017 is a world away the 1980's. But figuring out who you are is difficult for any kid, especially for GLBTQ youth living in a far right, Christian home.
While I had little support from my family
I did find support from the GLBTQ community. That "family" saved me.
So to all GLBTQ youth: You are loved!
And to the families of these kids: Love them, period!
Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
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